The first time I walked into a Great Wolf Lodge, I immediately felt like I had been transported to the Northwoods of Wisconsin. The tranquility and warmth of the antler chandeliers, log cabin-style furniture and cozy hearth were extremely familiar to me. As a native Wisconsinite, I remember traveling north to a family cabin surrounded by towering red and white pines. Those vacations still bring me great joy when I think about the rustic cabin itself, the wildlife we saw and the adventure my family and I shared. Stepping into Great Wolf Lodge evokes the same emotions time and time again.

As someone who has traveled “Up Nort’” (as we Wisconsinites call it) a great deal, I can say for certain that Great Wolf Lodge brings the feeling of being surrounded by wilderness to life. There’s no mistaking each lodge is inspired by its roots. No matter which region of the United States you visit, Great Wolf Lodge presents the opportunity to experience a rustic, cabin-style retreat to families across the country. 

How do we make this happen? The detailed theme and design all work together to create the fully immersive Northwoods experience, down to the tiniest detail.

Here are a few of my favorite elements to look for when you visit Great Wolf Lodge: 

 

Antler Chandeliers: Each Great Wolf Lodge has a number of antler chandeliers hanging from the log rafters in the Grand Lobby, illuminating the lobby from above.  

Fireplace: The fireplace is the focal point of the Grand Lobby. As you step into the lodge, you will likely see families relaxing by the hearth, snuggled together before Story Time or resting together between activities.

Themed Carpet: Even the carpet highlights the wildlife found in the woods. We’ve seen guests playing hopscotch by only touching the squares with animals on them. It may take a little longer to get to and fro, but the laughter and memories made along the way will be worth the while. 

Log Cabin-Style Furniture: Settle in each night in a bed made from logs, or relax by the fireplace in an oversize, comfy wooden chair. All of the furniture at Great Wolf Lodge is hand-made in Wisconsin. It truly sets the tone in helping us create a “home away from home” for our guests. 

Sconces: If you get turned around during your visit to Great Wolf Lodge, the wall sconces can help you find your way back to the Grand Lobby – the animals will always point you in the right direction.

 

 

 

 
 

Every year, each Great Wolf Lodge resort transforms into a winter wonderland during our Snowland celebration. The lobby is adorned with giant snowflakes hanging from the rafters, twinkling lights, and holiday décor. However, the true centerpiece of it all is our life-size gingerbread house.

Our gingerbread houses aren’t ordinary gingerbread houses by any means. Made with over 550 pounds of gingerbread, these 20-foot tall houses are absolutely awe-inspiring. It takes each resort about one month to design, bake, and construct these one-of-a-kind edible cottages. The best part? Families can dine inside for breakfast, lunch, or dinner for a small fee, because (let’s be honest), it would be a shame for these houses to sit empty during Snowland. The proceeds from dining in the gingerbread houses are donated to each resort’s local Ronald McDonald House.

New this year, we’ve made it even easier to book your family’s meal inside the gingerbread house. With our new online reservation system, you can book breakfast, lunch, or dinner in the gingerbread house before you even step foot in the resort. To book your reservation, visit greatwolf.com/snowland and select your resort from the property list. This will re-direct you to your resort’s Snowland page and on the right sidebar, simply click on “Now taking reservations online!” underneath the gingerbread house. You can then select your date and time preference, as well as the total number in your party, and pick from the available times. And, just like that, your family is on its way to enjoying a delicious meal within the candy-adorned walls of a life-size gingerbread house while supporting a great cause.

Are you celebrating your howlidays at Great Wolf Lodge? Don’t forget to share your photos with us using #GWLhowlidays!

There are so many things to remember when traveling with young children.  Parents must pack several changes of clothes, extra bottles and sippy cups, the treasured lovey, snacks, and above all else, diapers. As the parent of a toddler, I have a tendency to over-prepare. I pack each day’s clothing in its own plastic bag. I include extra socks, extra sets of clothing. I check and re-check that I have my son’s favorite stuffed toy. I pride myself in thinking ahead.  

However, I  admit it wasn’t until I took my son on his first overnight trip  - incidentally to the  Great Wolf Lodge in Wisconsin Dells - at the age of seven months that I encountered something I had not prepared for.

After getting settled in our suite, I changed his diaper. He was giggling and happy and clean. I, on the other hand, was left standing with a used diaper. Of course, I did not want to leave it in our suite. Nor did I want to stick it in the hallway. We definitely had quite the stinky conundrum.  In the end, I bagged the diaper and took it down the hall to the garbage near the vending machine (apologies to anyone who got a late night bucket of ice during our stay).

After our amazing visit, the diaper debacle was quickly forgotten. That is until earlier this year, the Great Wolf Lodge team discussed a new idea to ease the stress – and smell – of traveling with children in diapers.

Each and every day, our pack members strive to provide exceptional guest service and help our guests make special memories together.  As family-focused destinations, our twelve resorts were designed to help bring families closer together while having fun.  Half of our guests are under the age of ten and we know they have unique needs. Pack ‘n plays are provided free of charge and every suite comes with a complimentary fridge and microwave so parents can easily store snacks and prepare baby food and formula. And of course, the resorts feature entertainment options and activities for guests of all ages.

Now, Great Wolf Lodge has launched a new service to make family travel even easier for parents and our youngest guests! This month, we introduced the Diaper Den Service to each of our res orts. Re cognizing used diapers are not a fun part of vacation; our resorts now provide parents with young children an in-room Diaper Genie Elite for easy disposal of dirty diapers during their stay.

To bring this new service to life, we are proud to partner with Playtex, makers of the original Diaper Genie. As millions of parents already know, the Diaper Genie Elite is the perfect solution for the disposal of diapers. The all-in-one diaper pail features a 7-layer refill bag and double-lock design to seal away stinky diaper odors. It is also the perfect solution for families staying together in a resort suite.

How do families take advantage of the Diaper Den Service? It’s simple. Families can easily request to borrow a Diaper Genie at time of booking or during resort check-in. In addition, to help ensure our youngest guests fully enjoy everything Great Wolf Lodge has to offer, families also receive a voucher for a complimentary swim diaper redeemable onsite at the resort’s Bear Essentials Swim Shop.

The Diaper Den Service was first introduced at the Great Wolf Lodge Pocono Mountains earlier this summer and we are excited to now fully share it with all of our guests.

I’m almost sad my son is now fully potty trained. Almost.

With summer road trip season in full swing, we created a DIY project sure to make your pups howl about summer travel. The Great Wolf Kids luggage tag is a simple, yet, creativity-inspiring craft that will also help focus all of their pre-trip excitement! It's a great way to announce an upcoming trip as a fun surprise, too.

Have your kids pick their favorite Great Wolf Kids character, customize the look, and attach it to their bag. That's it! Now they're ready for a fun-filled adventure at Great Wolf Lodge! They may even meet their friend in real life at Great Wolf Kids events like Story Time or Wolf Walk.

The PDF template, which can be found here, features each of our Great Wolf Kids characters.

Directions:

Step 1: Gather your supplies. You’ll need a few different items you probably already have around the house.

  • Paper to print the template (we recommend heavy stock paper for durability)
  • Adhesive (we used glue sticks and glue)
  • Colored pencils, crayons or markers
  • Single hole punch
  • Ribbon, yarn, or string

Step 2: Color your luggage tag. Get creative, or stick to your character’s signature look. The choice is yours! If you’re wondering what Wiley, Violet, Oliver, Rachel, Sammie, or Brinley look like, you can find out here.

Step 3: Cut out all three pieces of your luggage tag.

Tip: follow the dotted lines rather than the solid ones for an easier cutting path.

Step 4: Using the adhesive of your choice, attach the name badge and character to the base circle in the location of your choice.

Tip: Attach the name badge to either the bottom, or the back of the tag. This allows for plenty of room for your Great Wolf Kids friend.

Tip: For added durability, consider laminating the tag with a laminator or packing tape.

Step 5: Locate the small dotted line circle on the base of the tag. Use your single hole punch to punch a hole over the dotted line.

Step 6: Cut a six inch piece of ribbon, yarn or string. Thread one end of the ribbon through the hole made in step 5. You should now have about one half of the ribbon on either side of the tag.

Step 7: Thread one side of the ribbon through the handle of the luggage. Tie a knot in the ribbon, fastening the tag to the luggage.

Step 8: Sport your new luggage tag on your next trip to Great Wolf Lodge, or wear it on your backpack!

There’s no doubt that the classic grilled cheese sandwich is a favorite amongst most families. With a warm, gooey center and perfectly golden buttered bread, there’s simply nothing not to like about a simple grilled cheese. In order to properly honor this delectable delight this Sunday for National Grilled Cheese Day, we’re sharing our Grilled Cheese Shooters recipe.

The Grilled Cheese Shooters’ appetizer-sized portion makes it perfect for sharing with the whole family. With warm, crisp, buttered bread filled with melty cheese and the perfect amount of tomato soup for dipping, we’re sure it will give you something to howl about.

Great Wolf Grilled Cheese Shooters

You’ll need:

  • 2 slices of white bread, crust cut off to square the slices
  • Butter, melted and warm
  • 2 slices of American cheese
  • 4 oz. Campbell's Healthy Choice Tomato Soup (hot)

Directions:

  1. Evenly butter both slices of white bread with butter and place on a flat top grill, butter side down.
  2. Place 1 slice of American cheese on each slice of bread for 1 minute, or until evenly browned and the cheese is melted.
  3. Remove bread from flat top grill and place slices together, cheese side together.
  4. Cut finished sandwich from upper left corner to lower right and then cut the opposite way upper right to lower left, creating 4 perfectly shaped triangles. 
  5. Using the hot tomato soup, fill 4 shot glasses about ¾ of the way.
  6. Place 1 sandwich triangle on top of each to the shot glasses. The flat side of the triangle should be up, with the tip of the triangle just touching the soup.
  7. Place each on a rectangular plate in a straight line. Serve immediately.

 

 

It’s cold outside… it’s snowy… and the groundhog has officially predicted six more weeks of winter.  We’re tired of the bitter cold, and we know you are, too, so we’re showing our appreciation for our loyal social media fans and followers by warming you up this FeBRRRuary with a cup of Howlin’ Hot Chocolate.

All of our social media fans and followers that visit Great Wolf Lodge during the month of FeBRRRuary can redeem a complimentary Howlin’ Hot Chocolate from Bear Paw Sweets & Eats (US) or Bear Claw Café (Canada). Just how do you redeem your complimentary Howlin’ Hot Chocolate? You need to prove that you’re a fan, of course!

It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3:

  1. Become a fan of Great Wolf Lodge on Facebook or follow us on Twitter or Instagram.
  2. Find this image: 
  3. Visit Great Wolf Lodge and show the social media post mentioned above to a pack member in Bear Paw or Bear Claw.

In just seconds (or however long it takes you to drive to Great Wolf Lodge), a delicious Howlin’ Hot Chocolate can be yours! Oh, and we should mention that this isn’t just any old hot chocolate…it’s our uber secret recipe for the best hot chocolate (in our humble opinion).

Unfortunately, we can’t change the weather, but hopefully this little bit of scrumptious chocolately goodness will ease the winter weather blues, even if just for a moment.

Promotion is valid now through February 28, 2015. Please limit one Howlin’ Hot Chocolate per person per family.

It’s that time of year! The 48 Hour Sale is BACK and this time around, you can save up to 25% on your family’s next getaway. This sale only comes around a couple times each year and offers the best savings on one or multiple night stays at Great Wolf Lodge. If you’ve never taken part in one of our 48 Hour Sales, here are a couple tips to make your experience as simple as possible:

Once the sale is announced, the clock starts ticking. You’ll have 48 (or so) hours to book a trip to Great Wolf Lodge and take advantage of the savings.  To make sure you’re ready for every 48 Hour Sale, sign up for our ePack to receive deals and promotions straight to your inbox.  You’re probably familiar with the saying, “The early bird gets the worm.” Well, in this case, ePack members are the birds and the 48 Hour Sale is the figurative worm. Members of our ePack are the first to be notified about the 48 Hour Sale. If you want to be among the first to receive deals and promotions, sign up here.

Do you like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter? Following Great Wolf Lodge on social media is another easy way to stay in the know about upcoming deals. We post information about promotions on our Facebook page and Twitter feed. If you ever have any questions about the 48 Hour Sale (or any other promotion), social media is a great place to ask.  One of the most common questions we receive is, “Are you having a 48 Hour Sale anytime soon?” Although we can’t always share this information, as it would take the fun out of our “pop up” sale, here’s an insider tip: when we encourage you to sign up for our ePack, there’s usually a good reason for it!

Our 48 Hour Sale is a deal that you definitely don’t want to miss out on. Have you ever wanted to visit Great Wolf Lodge during Howl-o-Ween? This is your chance! The 48 Hour sale can save your family up to 25% on stays now through October 31st. Want to learn more? To view the details for your lodge, visit greatwolf.com/48hour.

If you have been to any of our lodges over the last few months you may have received a Boogie Wipes Plush at one our weekend dance parties, or an in-room sample of Boogie Wipes Gentle Saline Wipes.

Didn’t have a chance to make it to the lodge? You can still partake in the benefits of this partnership.  Great Wolf Lodge® and Boogie Wipes® have teamed up to bring you a family getaway this summer! You and your family can enter for a chance to win a 2-night stay at any of the Great Wolf Lodge locations, plus a $150 gift card to use during your stay.  Entering is easy at boogiewipes.com.  Saturday, May 31st is the last day to enter, so hurry!

Boogie Wipes, part of Little Busy Bodies, Inc. are the first ever saline nose wipes and were developed to help kids’ sore, red, runny noses.

To learn more about this great sweepstakes and Boogie Wipes visit boogiewipes.com. 

What do you get when you simultaneously bring together hundreds of families across three time zones under the glow of a full moon? An event that is truly something to HOWL about!

On Saturday, October 19, 2013, our ten Great Wolf Lodge resorts across the United States offered a unique challenge to our guests: come together for the chance to set a new world record for the most people howling at the same time.

Earlier this year, we read about a record attempt in St. Cloud, Minn where students from St. Cloud State University gathered together to set a record for most people howling. Their event attracted 296 people.

Howling is a fun tradition at Great Wolf Lodge resorts. Guests stomp, clap and howl alongside Wiley the Wolf and his cast of lovable characters every day. It is a part of the Great Wolf Lodge experience.

Each October the resorts also all celebrate Howl-O-Ween, complete with trick or treating through the lodges, Monster Bash dance parties and more. After reading about that record attempt in Minnesota, we knew we could not only beat that record – but also set a new one that would REALLY have everyone howling!

When planning a world record attempt, in order to “beat” the existing record, you must re-create the same circumstances as the original. For us, that meant bringing everyone together in one spot, outside and having them howl for 60 seconds. The full moon provided the perfect setting across the country for everyone.

Of course, we still had to put our own unique Great Wolf Lodge flair on our record attempt: as a special surprise, we gave everyone who took part a limited edition set of bright orange wolf ears to wear while howling at the moon!

At exactly 8:45 p.m. EST our resorts counted everyone down and the howling began. 4,341 people of all ages howled for one minute! I’m sure wolves in the wild all paused and perked their ears at that time, wondering just what was inspiring so much howling that night!

Were you at one of our resorts? Curious how many people howled alongside you? Check out our totals below. And next time you see a full moon, take a moment to howl, Great Wolf Lodge-style!

Great Wolf Lodge Concord, NC – 605

Great Wolf Lodge Pocono Mountains, PA – 615

Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg, VA – 412

Great Wolf Lodge Grand Mound, WA – 412

Great Wolf Lodge Traverse City, MI – 381

Great Wolf Lodge   Kansas City, KA – 346

Great Wolf Lodge Wisconsin Dells, WI – 261

Great Wolf Lodge Mason, OH – 492

Great Wolf Lodge Sandusky, OH – 478

Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine, TX  - 339

14
Mar
2013

Last fall we launched a nationwide search inviting moms and dads to join our 2013 Ask-A-Mom panel—our resident parent experts who provide their tips and tricks for a great trip to the lodge.  After reading every submission and watching every video (there were a lot) we’ve finally made our selection. 

Here they are folks, our new Ask-A-Moms (and Dads)!

Stay tuned for upcoming blog posts introducing you to each of our panelists.  In the meantime, head over to askamom.greatwolf.com to ask them a question.

Did you just book your first trip to the lodge?  Curious about all of the slides that we have?  Or are you just missing your favorite and want to reminisce?

You can visit our website or YouTube channel and watch over 40 videos of your favorite slides.  Shot from a first-person angle, you can see what it’s like to ride the Niagara Rapids Run or slide down River Canyon Run.

Now that you’ve watched them all, which is your favorite?  Leave a comment and let us know.  Good luck choosing just one.

All Emily wanted for her 11th birthday was a special trip to Great Wolf Lodge for some mother/daughter time.

She gave up getting presents and a party and asked everyone to contribute to her wish. Knowing that she is at that precarious preteen age where things are changing and emotions are raging, as well as being the middle child with a brother, sister and 3 stepsiblings, we all agreed this would be a good time for Emily to get some one on one attention and have some fun. What I didn't plan on was how this trip would be good for Emily's SOUL.

During our two day stay I watched my daughter blossom from a sullen tween anxious about going back to school into an open book of emotions about her feelings and thoughts on life. She was so grateful for our time together she was in tears many times because she was so happy. We had so many good talks about friends, family and school.  My favourite moment was when Emily wanted to read her baby book, which is a tradition we do on birthdays.  In the book, she found a letter that I had written her when she was turning one and had stayed in an envelope in her baby book for 10 years. In the letter I told my baby girl how special and loved she is and when my grown up baby girl read those words she felt so loved and treasured and through her tears said "Thank you Mom".

Taking time out of our lives to go on this special trip was an incredible bonding experience for Emily and me, during a time in her life when she needs to feel this the most.


Name: Serina Purdy
City: Burlington
State: Ontario
Email: serinaemily@gmail.com
Lodge: Niagara Falls, ON


 

18
Dec
2012

Life is busy. To survive in this world, someone has to work. Its a hard truth, but my husband is a wonderful man who works hard seven days a week so I can stay at home with our two small children, Isabel and Ronan.

As a mother, I'm still very busy myself. I do a lot of volunteering at my daughter's preschool, so I'm involved in her education. I help out in the classroom as well as sit on the Board of Directors. This means long hours away from my husband, because her preschool program with language and culture is important to me as well. Isabel was also attending public school at the same time as her preschool, so as a direct result, family time suffers.

As luck would have it, work slowed down for my husband over the summer and my daughter's preschool also invited us on a Board of Directors retreat at Great Wolf Lodge.

While I was in my meetings during the day, my husband got to spend some wonderful alone time with our children swimming, sliding and bonding. During a heart-to-heart chat, he got it out of my daughter that at her public school she was being bullied (just a boy who was mean because he liked her) and she was afraid to go back to school. We noticed she was throwing tntrums the whole summer with us and we were honestly at our wits end. My husband was clearly relieved to get the information out of our daughter and she seemed a lot happier telling someone.

The day went on and I joined them for our family time. Colouring t-shirts in the Cub Club, going down the big water slides, which Isabel was tall enough to ride this year, and an amazing dinner in the Camp Critter restaraunt, ending with Story Time in the main lobby. aAfterwards we heard the announcement for a family dance. Isabel has always loved dancing and she asked if we could go to the dance party.

With the weight off her shoulders, surrounded by people who loved her, all her friends and even a few of her preschool teachers, my girl finally started to relax and dance. Before the dance ended, we heard Katy Perry's "Fireworks". As the music started, Isabel got very excited. She started dancing like no one was watching and singing at the top of her lungs. It's almost as if the song woke something up inside of her, throwing up her arms and bursting like the firework that she is.  It is definitely a memory that I'm never going to forget. After the dance, she told me and her daddy that this was the best day of her life. Seeing my daughter come out of a funk that hung over her, thanks to some much needed family time, is something I thank Great Wolf Lodge for, and a lasting memory for myself, my husband and both of my children.

Name: angel meawasige
City: hamilton
State: ontario
Email: angel_girl_exj96@hotmail.com
Lodge: Niagara Falls, ON

 

My favorite memory from Great Wolf Lodge has to be the first time we visited. There were two specific events during that time that stuck in my head.

The first was when we arrived; I brought my son and his best friend for his birthday weekend. They were really excited when we got there, they were running around looking at everything in the lobby and touching everything they could. Our room was on the second floor, we grabbed our bags and walked up to the second floor. When we got up there we passed the window into the waterpark and all I heard was “WHOA” really loud from both the kids. They were so excited to get in there and play, they were almost ready to change in the hall. I couldn’t open the door to the room fast enough.

The thing that stuck in my head is the look on their faces the first time they saw it, they were so excited, amazed and anxious to have fun. They didn’t want to leave. We spent hours in the waterpark that first day. We almost missed dinner because it is hard to keep track of time when you are having that much fun.

The second thing I remember from that trip was when I was in the lazy river with my son, there are buckets that fill up and dump on you as you are going along. At one point I turned around and saw this man behind me starting to relax in his tube, he finally laid back and got comfy.  As soon as he leaned back a huge bucket dumped right in his face. It startled him so much that he jumped backwards out of his tube. I guess he didn’t know the buckets were there. It was such great timing that the second he relaxed the bucket tipped over. It was so funny. The kids couldn’t stop laughing.

Our entire weekend both the kids always had a smile on their face and never stopped laughing. I love how everyone there tries so hard to do anything they can to make the kids happy.


Name: theresa mccarroll
Email: thmccarroll@yahoo.ca
Lodge: Niagara Falls, ON

 

 

As a mid size family we try to go every year, and we try to stay in a different room each time we go. We take my father, my husband's father (who is 80), my daughter (10), her friend (11) and my neice (16).

You get what you pay for and the Great wolf Lodge is just that—great!  And all of the people who work there are great too. The all-you-can-eat restaurant is OMG so good.  Plus MagiQuest is so well done, not cheap at all.  It was so good we had to tag team for the girls becasue we would have been so tired. 

Great rooms.  Great time.We will be back again and again.


Name: Sharon Browne
City: keswick
State: ont
Email: sbrowne1@rogers.com
Lodge: Niagara Falls, ON

My son and I had been to the Great Wolf Lodge many times, but my husband had never been.  We had, as a family, just suffered a tremendous loss—our 16 yr old daughter Beth had passed away suddenly two weeks earlier. My son RJ who was 8 at the time and was at sleep-away camp in upstate NY (he had insisted on going). 

Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls, OntarioWe needed to go pick him up and decided to surprise him by taking him to the Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls.  I had always known that my hubby didn’t believe us when we told him about all the stuff in the indoor waterpark, but it didn’t really hit me until I saw his face when we went to check in.  He was amazed, staring at the slides like a little kid. 

RJ and Jimmy went on all the slides!!! It was great for me as I got to sit and rest a bit.  RJ loved it because dad spent far more money in the arcade than mom ever did. The best part of the trip was when I was getting ready to pack the room —the boys had gone downstairs for breakfast.  I was speaking to the housekeeper when I heard my room number come over her radio.  Something about not checking out...I was like "What did they say?"  She smiled and said “Go relax.  It looks like you are staying another day.”

The boys came back to the room all full of smiles.  They were so excited that we were staying another night.  I didn’t have the heart to tell them I already knew about their surprise.  RJ and I still take most of our trips to Great Wolf Lodge without dad but at least we know he believes us now.

Ask A Mom Panelist

Leslie H.

Great Wolf Lifeguards Deserve a Howl!

At Great Wolf Lodge, the safety of our guests is our number one priority. Every day, families come to our resorts to play in our waterparks and make lasting memories. Our Great Wolf Pack Members are a key part to delivering these safe and fun experiences.

Great Wolf lifeguards are among our most visible Pack Members. It is their job to ensure that our guests are safe while they enjoy our indoor waterparks. To help in these efforts, Great Wolf works with Ellis & Associates, a third party consultant that specializes in aquatics safety. In addition to assisting with our training programs, Ellis & Associates conducts random audits of our guards at work, to ensure key practices and procedures are being used.

Each year, Ellis & Associates announces its list of “Golden Guards” – lifeguards around the country who epitomize what it means to be a great lifeguard. Leadership, knowledge, and teamwork are areas that the guards are rated on. This year ten Great Wolf Lodge lifeguards earned the honor.

Great Wolf Lodge sends a collective “Howl!” of congratulations to the following Pack Member guards who work each day to provide a safe, fun waterpark experience for our guests.

  

Nathan Hughes and Zyra Edwards from our Niagara Falls Lodge